La La Land Music Festival, Phoenix Convention Center, 12/7/2012
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman Stiltwalking dancers perform on the Global Arena stage during Cosmic Gate's set last night at La La Land Music Festival in Phoenix.
La La Land Music Festival @ Phoenix Convention Center, 12/7/2012
Has the current zeitgeist of electronic dance music about to hit its expiration date? It's a contentious topic that's been bandied about by DJs, producers, and online music wonks in recent weeks.
No less a source than the great godhead himself Deadmau5, in a recent interview with Billboard, compared EDM's present popularity to that of disco and believes it doesn't have much of a future. Meanwhile, Spin Magazine recently stated that the musical style has a "creative crisis," a prominent dubstep website declared EDM is about to "be a victim of its own popularity," and English trance superstars Above & Beyond feel like the bubble "is about to burst."
But while these doomsaying DJs and gadflies are busy with their doomsaying and forecasting EDM's decline, its ferocious fanbase is busy actually enjoying the music and going absolutely bonkers at every big-time dance music festival possible, including last night's La La Land.
Previously a staple of the rave/underground dance party scene, the promoters of La La Land decided to take things to a whole new level the event's fifth year, holding it at a higher-profile venue like the Phoenix Convention Center instead of a space like the Madison Event Center. They also amped up the lighting, brought in bigger acts, and added in more spectacular stage antics into the mix.
For instance, the Global Arena mainstage took on a carnivalesque feel as whimsically dressed performers slung hula-hoops and glowsticks while gigantic Pegasus creatures or aliens stomped around on stilts in front of the DJ booth while the usual go-go girlies dances and headlining artists like British-born trance wizard Mat Zo and German progressive house demons Cosmic Gate sent the crowd into the stratosphere.
Both acts -- neither of whom have gone on record with predictions of EDM's doom, by the way -- adroitly demonstrated their skills at transforming a throng into a single living, breathing mass of movement that hangs on every single beat being laid down.
Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems of Cosmic Gate.
Everyone in the crowd had their own personal dance club measuring less than 12-inches square and spent time showing off their own brand of moves. One girl seemed to have some kind of dysfunctional relationship with the security rail, beating it swiftly with a clenched fist, while a dude in a banana costume was repeatedly thrusting his head forward and dishing out headbutts to an army of invisible foes.
The wild crowd at La La Land.